verb (used with object), out·grew, out·grown, out·grow·ing.
  1. to grow too large for: to outgrow one's clothes.
  2. to leave behind or lose in the changes incident to development or the passage of time: She outgrew her fear of the dark.
  3. to surpass in growing: watching one child outgrow another.
verb (used without object), out·grew, out·grown, out·grow·ing.
  1. Archaic. to grow out; burst forth; protrude.

Origin of outgrow

First recorded in 1585–95; out- + grow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for outgrow


verb -grows, -growing, -grew or -grown (tr)
  1. to grow too large for (clothes, shoes, etc)
  2. to lose (a habit, idea, reputation, etc) in the course of development or time
  3. to grow larger or faster than
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for outgrow

1590s, "to surpass in growth," from out + grow (v.). Meaning "to become too large or too mature for" is attested from 1660s. Related: Outgrowing; outgrown.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper